Look who's back and taking another crack at the most amazing marathon in the world for Team Mass General Hospital, Pediatric Oncology!!
The Boston Marathon 2018 was a historical and epic adventure, nicknamed the Monsoon Marathon. It was not easy, I remember the first 13 miles as being the toughest of mind games. The headwinds kept pushing me backwards, my legs were exhausted but my heart kept pushing me to that finish line. I was so incredibly lucky to have run with my training partner and amazing friend Eva each step of the way. We had friends and family who came from all over, scattered all along the route braving the conditions to cheer us on. The support we had on such a challenging day was incredible.
Many have asked me would you do it again? My answer was always YES! Not only because I enjoy a challenge but also for the Letourneau family.
Here's my WHY... I’ve known the Letourneau family since 2003, many years into Gary’s 17 year fight with bone cancer, which ultimately took his life in 2011 at the age of 30. What still strikes me to this day is that Gary was only two years younger than me. While I was at cheerleading practice, dance rehearsals, and hanging out with my friends, his world had turned into an endless sea of waiting rooms, MRIs, scans and doctors. I can’t begin to imagine the sleepless nights, the tears, the hope and the disappointments. What I can say is that if I didn’t know about Gary’s illness, I would never have realized he was sick. Gary had a kind of positive spirit that was undeniable. I saw him a lot with his mother and father, and it was always so touching to see how much they enjoyed each other’s company. Gary persevered when others would’ve given up.
The years of surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation through seven diagnoses would’ve taken their emotional toll on anyone, but he refused to let it keep him from loving and living life. I want to honor not only Gary, but his courageous family as well. I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t scared, but what I have ahead of me pales in comparison to the battle that people with cancer and their families face every day.
Gary taught himself and others to find one happy thing out of every day and it’s this kind of attitude that will get me through training and across that finish line. I have the strength. I have the determination. I can and I WILL run these 26.2 miles being thankful for each and every day I’ve been given, just like Gary would’ve wanted. I hope you’ll join me in my journey to fight against this disease that takes so much from so many families by making a donation today.
Thank you for giving what you can.
“I now appreciate the littlest things in life and I don’t take anything or anyone for granted.” - Gary Letourneau